After water, sand is the most widely used natural resource.
Sand is mined, smuggled, and stolen, and the impacts of this have far-reaching socio-political, economic and environmental implications, accelerating coastal erosion, and destroying ecosystems that are relied upon by coastal communities for their very existence.
October 20, 2022
Diamonds, zircon and other minerals have long been extracted in the sandy coastline near the Olifants river, which flows into the Atlantic about 300 kilometres (180 miles) north of Cape Town.
But plans to expand the mining have angered surfers, animal lovers and residents in this remote, sparsely populated region—and they are pushing back with lawsuits and petitions.
Photo: Satellite view of Olifants River Estuary, South Africa (image via Google Earth: Maxar Technologies AfriCIS(Pty) Ltd CNES / Airbus Data SIO, NOAA; U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Terrametrics).
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